Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced Tuesday that it has agreed to buy gene therapy biotech Prevail for more than $1 billion.
As part of the deal, Eli Lilly will buy Prevail stock for $22.50 in cash, representing a premium of 80% to Monday's closing price.
"Gene therapy is a promising approach with the potential to deliver transformative treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Gaucher and dementia," Dr. Mark Mintun, vice president of pain and neurodegeneration research at Lilly, said in a statement.
"The acquisition of Prevail will bring critical technology and highly skilled teams to complement our existing expertise at Lilly, as we build a new gene therapy program anchored by well-researched assets."
Dr. Asa Abeliovich, founder and CEO of Prevail, said the new partnership will maximize efforts to bring gene therapies to a wider audience.
"Lilly is an established leader in neuroscience drug development and commercialization who shares our commitment to patients with neurodegenerative diseases," Abeliovich said.
"With its global scale and resources, Lilly will be the ideal organization to maximize the potential of our pipeline and accelerate our ability to bring these therapies to as many patients as possible."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Commission have given"fast track" and "orphan drug" designations to several Prevail therapies.